Whatever the causes, the Semi delay was a setback in a first quarter that was otherwise upbeat for Tesla. It continued a streak of year-over-year surges in revenue ($5.98 billion) and profit ($1.23 billion). Deliveries didn’t reach the record high from the fall, but the 88,496 cars that reached customers were a distinct improvement over the 63,019 that reached buyers a year earlier. Most of those, 76,266 of them, were either the Model 3 or the surprisingly early Model Y.
Not that Tesla is about to cheer too loudly. Apart from some setbacks in China, the full weight of COVID-19 hadn’t hit the company’s business in the first quarter. The automaker’s Fremont factory will have been closed for several weeks or more during the second quarter, and it’s unclear how sales have been hurt by customers who have to stay at home and might be facing economic hardship. Tesla might not be in dire straits after the second quarter, but it could easily be facing a rough patch.